Association for Women in Science – South Louisiana Chapter (AWIS-SL) Update 

Jane Eason, Ph.D., P.T.

We have continued with our mentoring lecture series this spring with Dr. Florencia Polite presenting another outstanding mentoring seminar titled “The Mentor/Mentee Relationship – How to Make the Most of Your Role” on April 27.  She did an outstanding job presenting information that would be useful to all who attended.  She has graciously agreed to share her references and the slides from her lecture, so if anyone would like this information, please contact Jane Eason at jeason@lsuhsc.edu.

We hosted a networking event in the Raised Root Garden on April 19.  There was a good mix of students and faculty sharing information while enjoying light snacks on a beautiful day in the garden right after work.   For those not aware of this garden, it is located in the grassy area between the old Dibert Building and the 1542 Tulane Ave Building.  There are several raised garden beds, an herb garden, several benches and a lending library.

Our most recent outreach event was a STEM fair for a Girl Scout Troop based out of Our Lady of Divine Providence on Saturday, May 13 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Girl Scouts were able to rotate through several stations that included Dress Like a Scientist, Tobacco Models, Models of Organs, Exposure to Lead, Noise and Hearing, and Vaccinations.  Faculty and students from LSUHSC manned the tables and interacted with the girls providing information as well as challenging them with questions about these topics and what science topics they were learning about in school.  With the wide variety of backgrounds of the faculty and graduate students, the girls were able to learn about diverse science topics as well as the many opportunities for science careers.

The AWIS Southern Louisiana chapter is dedicated to empowering women in science and technology by providing a platform for networking opportunities and career development programs, and to promoting an interest in science among girls and young women.  The AWIS Southern Louisiana chapter welcomes all persons interested in furthering the careers of women in science.

The cost to join the national organization is $150.00 annually as a professional member and $65.00 annual for junior members (students, postdocs).  To join only the AWIS-SL chapter only, professional and junior member dues are $25.00 annually and $10.00 annually for students.  We use this money to help fund our Outstanding Young Scientist Travel Award for graduate students/post-docs as well as for other community outreach events.  If you are interested in joining the local AWIS chapter, please contact our treasurer, Allison Augustus – Wallace at awall1@lsuhsc.edu.

If anyone is interested in learning more about us, please contact anyone on the Executive Committee; we’d be glad to provide more information.

Local Executive Board members are:

  • Jane Eason (SAHP), President
  • Tekeda Ferguson (SOPH), Secretary
  • Allison Augustus-Wallace (SOM), Treasurer
  • Angela Amedee (SOM), Past-President
  • Crescent Combe (SOM) – Post-Doc Representative
  • Adrienne McGinn (Graduate Studies) – Graduate Student Rep
Advertisements

LGBT+Allies Organization for Cultural Understanding the Health Sciences (LOCUS) 

Mirandy Li and Ayesha Umrigar
Co-Presidents of LOCUS

Mirandy Li and I are honored to introduce ourselves as the new co-presidents of our campus-wide LGBT organization, LOCUS (LGBT+Ally Organization for Cultural Understanding in the Health Sciences). The goals of this organization are to advance awareness and understanding of LGBT-related issues both at LSUHSC and in the New Orleans community, as well as to provide a safe space for all members of the LSUHSC community.

This past year was very successful, with LOCUS hosting seminars, participating in community outreach events, and co-sponsoring the LGBT Healthcare Disparities Symposium with ETHIKOS (see the accompanying story in the Top Stories section of this issue of The Pulse). Mirandy and I plan to continue this momentum, and we have several community outreach events planned with groups such as NOAGE (New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders) and the New Orleans LGBT Community Center.

We are also happy to announce the creation of our new web page, which can be accessed at https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/cmhe/locus/. This web page has a list of general LGBT resources, as well as description of our upcoming events and a link for subscription to our listserv. Stay tuned for a more detailed list of our events. We look forward to a successful year.

The Office of Diversity and Community Engagement

Robert Maupin, M.D., Associate Dean of Diversity and Community Engagement

The School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity & Community Engagement (ODCE) is privileged to serve as a sponsor to medical student cultural affinity organizations, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the newly chartered Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA).  The office is additionally proud to support the active engagement of our students who are providing an active voice to the strengthening of our campus climate’s dimensions of equity and cultural competency.

This winter, student leaders promoted and organized the emergence of a new student organization SAME – Students Advocating for Medical Equity. Student leaders envision the evolution of an active, diverse, intersectional student group that includes members spanning all medical school levels and works closely with faculty and staff.
Their vision espouses a Mission Statement which articulates that: Students Advocating for Medical Equity (SAME)’s mission is to contribute to the development of a more equitable and diverse institution at LSUHSC and to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff to create opportunities that will prepare students to be compassionate and culturally competent physicians. Organizational goals focus on:

  1. Engage with the Office of Admissions for Equity
  2. Engage in Student Development and Curriculum Planning for Equity
  3. Engage in Faculty Development for Equity
  4. Engage with other Student Groups for Equity

Meetings between various student representatives of SNMA, LOCUS, SAME, APAMSA, and LMSA have created a synergy in purpose and commitment to effecting positive change in our campus culture. Senior SOM leadership at Dean’s staff level have actively committed to forging constructive engagement with students in SAME to advance institutional growth and change that will empower both students and faculty. Dr. Robert Maupin hosted an evening dinner meeting at his home, bringing together engaged student leaders with Drs. Hamilton Farris and Cathy Lazarus from Student Affairs and Dr. Robin English, the New Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, to develop strategic planning around advancing cultural competency in areas of curriculum and faculty development.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This past month the ODCE was also privileged to host a historic exchange between New Orleans area African American medical pioneers and LSU medical student members of the Student National Medical Association. A Black History Month luncheon was hosted in the Chancellor’s Reception Room celebrating the legacy of Flint Goodridge Hospital and Flint Medical College, which provided medical education for African American medical and nursing students, and clinical practice opportunities for physicians of color during the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras in Louisiana. Our LSU students were extremely grateful to physicians and nurses from the New Orleans Medical Association who passionately recounted the successes and challenges of building and advancing hospital services, which provided an unprecedented access to care for the African American community prior to the racial integration of access to medical care for both patients and physicians of color.

OCDC

(left to right) Shirley Theodore, C.R.N.A, Errol Quintal, M.D., and Joseph Labat, M.D. provide discussion for the Black History Month luncheon celebrating the legacy of Flint Goodridge Hospital and Flint Medical College

The School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity & Community Engagement (ODCE) is privileged to serve as a sponsor to medical student cultural affinity organizations, Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the newly chartered Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA).  The office is additionally proud to support the active engagement of our students who are providing an active voice to the strengthening of our campus climate’s dimensions of equity and cultural competency.

 

This winter, student leaders promoted and organized the emergence of a new student organization SAME – Students Advocating for Medical Equity. Student leaders envision the evolution of an active, diverse, intersectional student group that includes members spanning all medical school levels and works closely with faculty and staff.

 

Their vision espouses a Mission Statement which articulates that: Students Advocating for Medical Equity (SAME)’s mission is to contribute to the development of a more equitable and diverse institution at LSUHSC and to collaborate with students, faculty, and staff to create opportunities that will prepare students to be compassionate and culturally competent physicians. Organizational goals focus on:

  1. Engage with the Office of Admissions for Equity
  1. Engage in Student Development and Curriculum Planning for Equity
  1. Engage in Faculty Development for Equity
  1. Engage with other Student Groups for Equity

 

Meetings between various student representatives of SNMA, LOCUS, SAME, APAMSA, and LMSA have created a synergy in purpose and commitment to effecting positive change in our campus culture. Senior SOM leadership at Dean’s staff level have actively committed to forging constructive engagement with students in SAME to advance institutional growth and change that will empower both students and faculty. Dr. Robert Maupin hosted an evening dinner meeting at his home, bringing together engaged student leaders with Drs. Hamilton Farris and Cathy Lazarus from Student Affairs and Dr. Robin English, the New Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, to develop strategic planning around advancing cultural competency in areas of curriculum and faculty development.

 

This past month the ODCE was also privileged to host a historic exchange between New Orleans area African American medical pioneers and LSU medical student members of the Student National Medical Association. A Black History Month luncheon was hosted in the Chancellor’s Reception Room celebrating the legacy of Flint Goodridge Hospital and Flint Medical College, which provided medical education for African American medical and nursing students, and clinical practice opportunities for physicians of color during the Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras in Louisiana. Our LSU students were extremely grateful to physicians and nurses from the New Orleans Medical Association who passionately recounted the successes and challenges of building and advancing hospital services, which provided an unprecedented access to care for the African American community prior to the racial integration of access to medical care for both patients and physicians of color.

 

 

MD/PhD Program

Kathy McDonough, Ph.D., Director 

In August 2017 we welcomed 4 new students into the MD/PhD program.  They are: Brittney Foret, Jacob Meariman, Joshua Schwartzenburg and Nathan Sharfman.

The 6 students welcomed into the MD/PhD program in August 2016 have finished the first year of medical school, research rotations during the summer and are currently beginning their second year of medical school. They are: Kaylin Beiter, Nicholas Fried, Hunter Hidalgo, Kristina Larter, Mirandy Li, and Phaethon Philbrook. Kristina has recently published work from her MS degree in the Journal of Fish Biology on effects of hypoxia on Gulf Killifish.

Four students will be transitioning into Graduate School – Robert Fuchs, Nazary Nebeluk, Zachary Stielper and Tony Tseng. Only one of our MD/PhD students, Alan Tseng, is transitioning to 4th year of medical school while several others will be finishing their PhD and returning to medical school this summer including Stephen Ford and Spencer Robichaux; Stephen and Spencer have both received F30 grants from NIH to support their research and medical training.

During this past academic year, Robert Fuchs was awarded a travel grant to give an oral presentation at the Brain Behavior Chemistry Conference in San Antonio and Jeffrey Wang received the translational/clinical poster award at the Department of Medicine Research Day. Felix Nau was awarded the IPSA Award of Inter-professional Distinction.

May graduation brought the MD/PhD program to its greatest number of graduates from Medical School. Three of them finished their PhD in Pharmacology; 3 in MIP and 2 in Genetics. Three have matched to Pediatrics programs – Jack DePaolo at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia; Michael Ripple at Washington University in St. Louis, and Whitney Nichols at the University of Mississippi in Jackson. Two matched in Medicine – Ferdous Kadri at the University of Florida and Felix Nau at Wake Forest University. Myles Ketchum matched in Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California and Valarie McMurtry matched in Pathology at the University of Utah where one of our other graduates, Ryan Craig, is currently training. Brendan Burn will do surgery here at LSUHSC.

We are very proud of them and wish them all of the best in their future training and careers!

LGBT+Allies Organization for the Cultural Understanding in the Health Sciences (LOCUS)

Brandon Jones (L2) and Louis Monnig (L2), Co-Presidents 

LGBTQ health is a topic that has garnered increasing attention in recent years as providers are realizing their gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer patients face unique health challenges. LGBTQ individuals encounter social inequities that affect them psychologically and predispose them to poorer health outcomes. For instance, lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults are more likely to be current smokers, approximately 1 in 4, compared to 1 in 6 heterosexual adults currently smoking, according to the CDC.

Many providers agree that taking a sexual history can be awkward for them, even more so if the provider is unfamiliar with the health and wellness concerns of LGBTQ patients. In an effort to promote LGBTQ cultural competency at LSUHSC, the LGBTQ + Allies Organization for Cultural Understanding in the Health Sciences (LOCUS) has been working hard to become a more visible and active organization on campus. LOCUS is a community for LSUHSC students, faculty, and staff with the goals of taking action in our school to create a more inclusive space and to become the most open-minded providers.

Because healthcare is delivered in teams of many types of providers, we pride ourselves on having membership from all six LSUHSC schools. Although we are an LGBTQ organization, all are invited to join and learn what we can do to meet the health needs of the LGBTQ communities. We strive to create a space where students feel safe, can meet their colleagues in other schools, and foster an environment where progress can be made to better our school and community.

We have made great strides in increasing the visibility of our organization in the past few weeks with the launch of our new website (https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/cmhe/locus/), which can be found on the LSUHSC Office of Diversity and Community Engagement main page. We created this platform to communicate upcoming school and local events, offer health resources, and provide scholarship information so that prospective students may know they will be welcomed at LSU.

We are happy to say that we have a very diverse, forward-thinking and passionate group of students in LOCUS that are here to enact change for the better and strive to make LSUHSC inclusive of all. As future healthcare providers and researchers, it is our duty to be accepting of all walks of life and to show compassion and empathy for all.

We hosted an LGBTQ health symposium this past April in conjunction with ETHIKOS, the School of Medicine interest group for medical ethics, bringing together transgender patients and doctors, as well as experts in LGBTQ health law issues. (See the upcoming July issue of The Pulse for a more detailed story of this symposium.)

We are also excited to be exploring partnerships with New Orleans Advocates for GLBT Elders (NOAGE) and the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans so that our members will be out in the community sharing their knowledge and expertise with the greater New Orleans area.

Office of Diversity and Community Engagement 

By Alison Augustus-Wallace, Ph.D.

The SOM Office of Diversity & Community Engagement’s (ODCE) mission and programmatic role are to facilitate the priorities of the SOM’s strategic goals by: 1) Promoting the embracement of diversity and cultural competency by faculty, staff, house staff, and student body; and 2) Expanding outreach initiatives to develop and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships with community partners.

In fulfilling our mission, our core programs support and advance a holistic admissions framework that translates into the development and construction of a diverse student community. In turn, this strengthens the quality of the learning environment. We are proud that our programs continue to promote diverse health profession pipeline initiatives which serve to enhance both interest and access to careers in medicine among communities that are disadvantaged and/or underrepresented. This fosters a culture of inclusion and engagement for all members of our institution’s educational community. The office has formal educational partnerships with all health professions schools within the LSU Health Sciences Center, as well as the New Orleans Public Schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Predominantly Black Institutions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, other Louisiana undergraduate institutions, and community physician organizations.

As part of our ongoing and continuous pipeline activities to develop a more competitive applicant pool, the ODCE facilitates a range of structured and unstructured activities. ODCE programmatic activities include: K-12 Science Clubs; Career Awareness Days; after-school science and math programs for middle school students; Summer Science Research Programs for middle and high school students; year-round medical school applicant counseling (including mock interview experiences and personal statement development); incoming medical students’ Pre-Matriculation program; USMLE, Step I review resources; and Residency Counseling for LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) medical students. Additionally, ODCE is currently in the process of restoring its pre-medical advisor workshops for collegiate academic counselors, faculty, and administrators, to provide them with adequate information about LSUHSC programs for advising their students and to further strengthen their communication with LSUHSC.

As of September 2016, the newest programmatic activity scheduled for the dates of May 30th through July 7, 2017, is the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health, Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). SHPEP is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is a collaboration between our Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Health, with support from our Center for Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice, and our HBCU partner Xavier University at Louisiana, College of Pharmacy. This program is a free summer enrichment program designed to improve access to information and resources for college students attending either four-year or community college institutions, who are interested in the health professions. The goal of SHPEP is to support the academic and career development of underrepresented/underserved, and/or rural, and/or disadvantaged students in the health professions, thereby preparing them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools. Formerly known as the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, the SHPEP was expanded in 2016 to include a broader scope of health professions. For additional information on SHPEP, please refer to http://www.shpep.org/, as well as our LSUHSC site webpage, http://www.shpep.org/site/louisiana-state-university-health-sciences-center/.

Want to become a Faculty Assembly Delegate? 

By Jennifer Lentz, Ph.D. and Peter Winsauer, Ph.D.

In preparation for this year’s Faculty Assembly elections, and to encourage you to consider becoming a Delegate, we thought we would tell you a little about the Faculty Assembly. The School of Medicine (SOM) Faculty Assembly (FA) is composed of 34 Delegates that are elected by the full-time clinical and basic science faculty within the SOM. The Delegates serve the SOM faculty by representing them as a collective voice to both the Administration of the SOM and the entire LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC). To accomplish this purpose, the Assembly has regularly scheduled meetings and works closely with the Dean of the SOM. Assembly meetings are open to all faculty of the SOM and approved minutes are posted on the FA website.

This year, the Faculty Assembly has been working on a number of initiatives, including disseminating the outcomes from the Faculty Forward survey, preparing for the upcoming LCME reaccreditation, updating the faculty on the changes to the medical school curriculum, and charity fundraising. We have also been engaged in discussions with the LSUHSC Chancellor, the Dean of the SOM, the Faculty Senate, and others regarding salary compression, capital outlay projects on campus, diversity, housekeeping issues, and fitness center hours.  To learn more about our activities and a current roster of Delegates, please visit our website at www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/faculty_assembly.

This year we will be electing 10 (6 Clinical and 4 Basic Science) Delegates to serve a 3-year term beginning on July 1. All full-time faculty members of any rank (Professor to Instructor) and in either a tenure or non-tenure track are eligible. Faculty who are currently holding an administrative position such as Dean, Associate Dean, Department Head, or Center Director are not eligible.

As of this year, becoming a FA Delegate is a 2-step process that starts with a self-nomination, or you asking someone you feel would be a good Delegate to self nominate.  After the call for nominations has been completed, all eligible faculty will be placed on a ballot for election by electronic vote. All faculty will then vote to fill the 10 available positions. The 10 nominees receiving the most votes will become Delegates. Given that there are relatively few positions available each year, you may want to inform your colleagues about your interest in serving so that they can vote for you, especially if you are from a small department!

The Faculty Assembly will request nominations in April, and the election will be held in May. If you think you might be interested in serving as a Delegate, any current Delegate would be happy to answer your questions, or join us at the next monthly meeting held the first Thursday of every month.

AWIS

Association for Women in Science

By Jane Eason, Ph.D., P.T.

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is a national organization and is the largest multi-discipline organization for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), dedicated to achieving equity and full participation of women in all disciplines and across all employment sectors.  AWIS reaches more than 15,000 professionals with members and chapters nationwide.

The AWIS Southern Louisiana (AWIS-SL) chapter is dedicated to empowering women in science and technology by providing a platform for networking opportunities and career development programs, and by promoting an interest in science among girls and young women.  The AWIS Southern Louisiana chapter welcomes all persons from the Southern Louisiana region interested in furthering the careers of women in science.

The cost to join the national organization is $150.00 annually as a professional member and $65.00 annual for junior members (students, postdocs).  To join only the AWIS-SL chapter, professional and junior member dues are $25.00 annually and $10.00 annually for students. Additional donations to support our outreach efforts are always welcome.

Local Executive Board members are:

  • Jane Eason (School of Allied Health Professionals), President
  • Tekeda Ferguson (School of Public Health), Secretary
  • Allison Augustus-Wallace (School of Medicine), Treasurer
  • Angela Amedee (School of Medicine), Past-President
  • Crescent Combe (School of Medicine) – Post-Doc Representative
  • Adrienne McGinn (School of Graduate Studies) – Graduate Student Representative

Additionally, AWIS-SL has several committees: Community Service Outreach (co-chaired by Donna Neumann and Sonia Gasparini), Education and Mentoring Outreach (co-chaired by Martha Cuccia and Elizabeth Levitsky), and the Outstanding Young Scientist Travel Award (chaired by Lisa Harrison-Bernard).

Following is a list of events AWIS members have participated in over the last year:  

  • We had a booth at the Girl Scout B.I.G event at Southeastern Louisiana State University campus to promote STEM to the Girl Scouts.
  • Every year in September, we host a “Painting with a Purpose” as a fund-raiser to help raise money for AWIS-SL Community and Education Outreach Efforts. This is always a lot of fun.
  • We participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Women in Medicine by hosting the guest speaker, organizing Pink Out Day on campus, setting up a survivor board outside the cafeteria and organizing a team from LSUHSC to run in the Race for the Cure.
  • In November, Dr. Janis Letourneau provided a seminar on “Mentoring, Coaching and Sponsorship”.
  • Dr. Mary Coleman provided a seminar on “The Art of Healthy Feedback” in February.
  • We found some time to socialize and celebrated Thanksgiving with a potluck lunch, hosted a networking event at Pearl Wine in October, and gathered to celebrate the holidays at Bayou Wine Garden in December.

The local chapter, with additional support from the Dean of the School of Medicine, also sponsors the AWIS-SL/LSUHSC Outstanding Young Scientist Travel Award and this year’s awardee is Crescent Combe.  Congratulations Crescent!

If anyone is interested in learning more about us, please contact anyone on the Executive Committee; we’d be glad to provide more information.